Friday, May 24, 2013

A Whole Mess of Crazy ---((QUILTS!))

I was going through some photos this morning of the quilts we were privileged to see at the La Salle County Historical Museum in Utica, Illinois last week – has it been a week already?

It has!  And there are more quilts to share!

The museum is home to several exquisite Victorian era crazy quilts, and a few of them got to come out of their boxes to spend some time with us.

Crazy quilts can tell such a personal story about the maker, about the time she lived, and the things that went on in her life.

Many of these quilts include things like printed ribbons, hand inked scenes and designs, satin stitch embroidery, and a multitude of stitches around each and every patch as a testament to the creativity and skill of the maker.  There was fussy cut applique, embellished initials….SO MUCH TO SEE!

But this was the first thing we saw as the most spectacular example came out of the box:

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Red cotton backing….with fuzzy tuft ties!

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Yes, more White Glove Jazz Hands!

Is your heart pounding yet?

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These quilts are so fragile – the silks are shredding as they age….we were so very careful not to do any more damage to these works of art.

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I love the floral embroideries…and the horse shoe!

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Printed memorial ribbons have found their way in…

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Satin stitch flowers so fine you would swear they were digitized!

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More memorial ribbons and an appliqued leaf…

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A ribbon bearing the words:
Committee of Arrangmement.....What were they arranging, I wonder!?

And some initials!  Look!

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C V P?  We weren’t sure!

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Hand embroidered cattails and an inked drawing above it ---

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More exquisite embroidery..just look at the detail on that butterfly!

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Oglesby Guards, Ottawa, ILL!

This was just the first of many crazy quilts we saw while at the museum.  I’ve loaded all the photos into a slide show to have them in one place.  If for any reason you can’t see the slide show on your mobile device, click the image below to be taken directly to the photo album.  These photos are best viewed on a full sized computer screen any way, there is SO much detail!

Crazy Quilts, Utica, IL 2013

Are you joining me for Quilt-Cam at 9pm tonight?! I'll be ready -- and am planning on a BINDING FEST! I'll have 3 quilts to apply binding to by the time the camera rolls tonight --see you then!

Be sure to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!


  1. Hi There, It looks like a lot more planning and patching than a 'normal' quilt!!!But it certainly is gorgeous!!!I like that so many different elements can be worked into it!!!

  2. Anonymous11:08 AM EDT

    The embroidery skill the Crazy Quilt makers used was amazingly beautiful. I wonder, if there wasn't TV etc., if we would spend much more time on 'handiwork' too?

    Glorious quilts Bonnie, Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

  3. I'll be there working on Orca Bay!!!!

  4. Absolutely exquisite works of art! Have you ever thought about putting a book together about all of the historical quilts you have encountered?

  5. Exquisite embroidery! Doesn't it make you wonder about the person who had the time to do it! Thanks for sharing the crazy quilts, and others, with us.

  6. Oh wow love that quilt......
    Arrangements for returning soldiers? It does have a flag printed
    on the ribbon too.

    See you tonight :0)
    Happy Sewing

  7. I think they must be called crazy quilts because it is crazy how wonderful they are! Lol. I just love looking at these - thanks so much for sharing.


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